The complaining habits of public figures – Tim Johns

A series of interviews by The Complaining Cow

In my series of interviews with people in the public eye regarding their complaining habits, today is the turn of Tim Johns producer/reporter on the Jeremy Vine show.

Tim Johns outside BBC Building

Tim John’s complaining habits

1) Generally, do you complain to a company regarding a faulty item?
Unless the fault is pretty serious I probably wouldn’t complain. I’d send it back, sure, ask for a refund or a replacement, but I probably wouldn’t additionally make my annoyance known.

2) How much does the likely redress have to be before you will
complain and why?
I’d say ‘significant’. There needs to be a relatively serious problem before I engage in complaining because. To be frank I normally can’t be bothered! I’m not going to throw money away so if I’ve clearly been ‘wronged’ and can claim back what I’m due I will. But I don’t complain ‘speculatively’, frequently, or for very small sums.

3) How well do you know your legal rights (Consumer Rights Act, different sectors regulations etc.)
I’d don’t know them very well off by heart. However I would say that if I feel I’ve got a poor product of have had poor service and I do intend to complain, I’ll get clued up on my legal rights before I do register a complaint.

4) If you receive service over and above good do you give feedback?
How?
I do! I actually do this more often than I complain. I do think people are pre-programmed to moan about about products and services more often than they praise them. I might praise companies on social media, on TripAdvisor, by giving it a good review on Amazon, or perhaps more often I’ll send a personal email. For example last year I praised the train company I commute on. I thought that, all things considered, they’d actually got me to work most of the time in a pretty efficient way and given the absolute heap of complaints they must (often rightly) receive, it would be nice for their staff to read something positive.
Also some family-members were in a nasty car crash recently but saved by the car and the airbags. I messaged my thanks to the car manufacturer and they passed it on to the department who design the safety features.

5) If you receive poor service how many people do you tell (include
your social media followers too!)
It depends how poor it is. I try to strictly limit ‘publicly complaining’ on Twitter. I have a fair few followers and I think with that comes some responsibility not to abuse it. Wild accusations against small companies on social media can be quite damaging to them. Equally, I think it can look pompous and self-important to try to leverage customer service ‘just because you have a lot of followers’.
However, when customer service is truly woeful it can be irresistible. For example after a huge drama with a hire car company, and after getting no-where by phone/email I tweeted them publicly and got a far better response by DM.
I guess like most people I whinge to friends about poor service in general.

6) If you receive good services how many people do you tell?
Not enough! I think ‘good’ service for most of us is what we expect. So it probably takes something or someone to go over and above, to be exceptional, before I start telling other people about it.

7) If you don’t really complain or it has to be a significant amount
in question before you will, what stops you from complaining?
Life is busy and normally I’d rather be doing other things. In part I also probably feel a bit awkward about it. I’d rather not cause a fuss, you know?

8) What do you think of using social media to complain?
Ah – see #5

9) Is customer service/being able to gain redress a factor when deciding where to purchase an item?
Yes. I would be a repeat customer to a company which I’ve noticed has particular good customer service, a quibble-free returns service and a compensatory attitude to complaints.

10) Do you ever contact a CEO of a company? If so at what point in the complaint process?
I never have.

11) If you have ever used an ADR scheme (ombudsman/mediation/arbitrator)
or gone to Small Claims Court tell us about it

I haven’t…

Tim Johns outside BBC building

About Tim Johns

Tim Johns is a producer and reporter with the Jeremy Vine show on BBC Radio 2, a weekday lunchtime current affairs programme reaching seven million adults in the UK.

timjohns.org/

@timoncheese

Read about the interviewing habits of other public figures and consumer people in the series of interviews by The Complaining Cow

Help with your complaints

book Logo cartoon cow at a laptop of book cover. How to Complain: The Essential Consumer Guide to Getting Refunds, Redress and Results!

 

If you need help with complaining effectively and making sure you are never fobbed off. GET THE BOOK! How To Complain: The ESSENTIAL Consumer Guide to Getting REFUNDS, Redress and RESULTS!

 

The complaining habits of public figures – Adam French Consumer Initiatives Manager Which?

A series of interviews by The Complaining Cow

In my series of interviews with people in the consumer world regarding their complaining habits, today is the turn of Adam French,
Consumer Initiatives Manager at Which? Adam French head shot

Adam French’s complaining habits

1) Generally, do you complain to a company regarding a faulty item?
It depends on my own expectations of a product, taking into account how it was sold, how old it is etc. But generally speaking – yes.

2) How much does the likely redress have to be before you will complain and why?
It’s usually more dependant on how annoyed I am!

3) How well do you know your legal rights (Consumer Rights Act, different sectors regulations etc.)
Pretty blimmin’ well, what with being Which?’s consumer rights expert. People like to bring their consumer problems to me for help solving them – a bit like having a friend who is a doctor that everyone brings their health concerns to.

4) If you receive service over and above good do you give feedback? How?
Usually on Twitter, or via the companies own feedback mechanism.

5) If you receive poor service how many people do you tell (include your social media followers too!)
Anyone that will listen!

6) If you receive good services how many people do you tell?
Anyone that will listen!

7) If you don’t really complain or it has to be a significant amount in question before you will, what stops you from complaining?
Always ask myself if it’s worth the effort. i’m not the kind of person who’ll complain out of principal – there needs to be a pay-off, wither emotional or cash!

8) What do you think of using social media to complain?
It’s the main reason I have Twitter!

9) Is customer service/being able to gain redress a factor when deciding where to purchase an item?
The chances of things going wrong are pretty slim, but if I have received bad service, it’s dramatically less likely that I’ll ever give that company my business again.

10) Do you ever contact a CEO of a company? If so at what point in the complaint process?
I’ve never needed to – but I do know what I’m doing when it comes to getting redress! To be honest before it ever got that far I’d be looking at using S75 or chargeback to recover my money.

11) If you have ever used an ADR scheme (ombudsman/mediation/arbitrator)
I started small claims proceedings against a ticket company after it kept my booking fees (£100’s) following an event cancellation. Within a few days I had all my money returned to me and my money claim online fee paid back to me. I never got my day in court.

About Adam French

Adam is a consumer rights expert at Which?, and the former editor of its online consumer rights advice website. Prior to becoming editor, Adam spent three years as a digital journalist at Which?.

@thatAdamFrench


Adam French head shot
Read about the interviewing habits of other public figures in the series of interviews by The Complaining Cow

Help with your complaints

book Logo cartoon cow at a laptop of book cover. How to Complain: The Essential Consumer Guide to Getting Refunds, Redress and Results!

 

If you need help with complaining effectively and making sure you are never fobbed off. GET THE BOOK! How To Complain: The ESSENTIAL Consumer Guide to Getting REFUNDS, Redress and RESULTS!